Opinion

GBADEGESIN: Untold story of ex-LAWMA CEO’s self-destruction

By Kehinde Ajanaku

The media space, both conventional and especially the social, have been agog with speculations about what led to the suspension/technical removal of Muyiwa Gbadegesin as the Managing Director of Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA).

The young dud hit the ground running upon his return from the United States where he was staying with his parents by lapping unto his father’s close relationship with Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to launch himself into the ruling political system in Lagos and especially southwest Nigeria.

He was everywhere getting contracts relating to computer related services until luck smiled on him when Asiwaju recommended him for appointment in Oyo State immediate Governor Abiola Ajimobi’s administration, first as Deputy Chief of Staff and later as Commissioner for Health.

The reality is that he didn’t make any success out of these juicy appointments as Governor Ajimobi sent him packing before too long for greed and sensational distractions by material things and undue love for office lucre. He came back to Lagos lurking around Asiwaju doing nothing until Babajide Sanwoolu, current Lagos Governor assumed office a year ago.

Pronto, he was offered the top position of LAWMA. Again, in less than a year, he messed up the entire place due to his greed and inordinate ambition. Contrary to speculations that some people are behind his travails, it is Gbadegesin’s lack of managerial skills, greed, misplaced patronage and mismanagement of LAWMA’s resources that cost him his job and several invitations to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Not many are aware that Gbadegesin embarked on misplaced patronage rather than effectively taking up the job of cleaning Lagos seriously. The chief beneficiary of his misplaced patronage is Tayo Ayinde, the Chief of Staff to Sanwo-Olu and the chieftain of The Mandate Group saddled with the responsibility of fielding a candidate to take over from Sanwo-Olu in 2023, was his main backer, giving him spurious assurance that he would be untouchable, no matter what.

Tayo Ayinde is secretly nursing the inordinate ambition to contest the governorship position and take over from Sanwo-Olu in 2023.
By January/February of this year, a petition against him made him regular visitor to the EFCC office in Ikoyi. Because of the stinking undeniably accusations against Gbadegesin, Asiwaju was forced to stay off his matter since January. Sanwo-Olu could no longer protect him but to order a forensic investigation of his brief but rotten tenure in LAWMA to forestall serious embarrassment to his government.

The outcome of the forensic audit was damning and this immediately forced Sanwo-Olu to direct Gbadegesin to refund N750million back to government coffers. Huge sums of public funds were traced to his Igbo wife’s bank accounts and Sanwo-Olu could no longer cover this up.

Gbadegesin destroyed the Olusosun and Soluos dump sites while PSP operators are not happy with him. After this, Sanwo-Olu ordered his suspension, a soft landing way of secretly easing him out of the system and preventing him from going to jail.

A pity story of self destruct indeed!

Kehinde Ajanaku, is a Social Commentator, writes from Victoria Island, Lagos.

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